Complete list of Effectiveness Bank hot topics

Effectiveness bank home page. Opens new window Hot topics

Below is a list of all 44 hot topics – essays by Drug and Alcohol Findings explaining the background and evidence relating to topics which sometimes prompt heated debate. They are a popular way to get up to speed on the issues which matter in drug and alcohol policy and practice in Britain, and often too internationally. Starting with the most recently added or updated hot topics, the list shows in orange the type of entry, the year the collection was first made available (remember they are continually updated), and the type of file you will download when you click on the title. In blue is the collection’s title followed by a brief description.

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HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
The therapeutic potential of patients and clients

The recovery agenda emphasises the transformation of problem substance users into solutions to those problems through peer support and involvement in their own care – but perhaps at a deeper level, the patient or client has always been the author of their own recovery.

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
‘Everyone’s not doing it’ message offers hope for prevention

‘Normative education’ comparing the recipient’s use levels to population norms retains some of its shine as the great hope for school- and college-based prevention, but accumulating data demands a reappraisal.

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
Harm reduction: what’s it for?

Opposing agendas have led to a shifting balance between seeing harm-reduction as acceptable only in the service of the greater good of reducing or eliminating drug use, versus seeing it as the overriding objective, one which should never be sacrificed to an anti-drugs agenda.

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
What about evidence-based commissioning?

In the UK the landscape of drug and alcohol service commissioning to meet need in an area has radically altered – a leap in the dark illuminated only dimly by prior evidence and current evaluations.

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
What makes for an effective treatment service?

Different treatment services can vary hugely in their outcomes. What characterises an effective treatment service, and how can these attributes be boosted?

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
What is addiction treatment for?

The answers to the title question might seem obvious, but who drug addiction treatment is for and what it should aim to achieve are contested territory.

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
Drug education yet to match great (preventive) expectations

Once relied on as the best way to prevent substance use and related problems across a population, drug education in schools has failed to deliver on this agenda: wrong agenda, or wrong education?

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
Individualising treatment: an obviously ‘good thing’?

Individualisation might seem an obvious and basic prerequisite to substance use treatment, but in fact services have often striven for uniformity.

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
Should we start prevention in the cradle?

Focusing on the early years to avert substance use problems makes sense, but does it work?

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
Prizes for not using drugs?

Contingency management programmes reward patients for complying with treatment or not engaging in undesired substance use. It works, but often only temporarily – and perhaps at the cost of eroding the patient’s confidence and motivation.


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